The land tenure systems in Botswana

In pre colonial Botswana, all land was communal land, controlled and administered by the leaders or chiefs of those respective communities because they settled in different parts of the country.

There are three land tenure systems in use today in Botswana. Namely;

  1. State land (Governed by the State Land Act 32:01) – State land is land of which ownership is vested in the Republic including any land outside the country. This land’s administration has been delegated to the minister responsible for Land management through the central government and local government by the president. It used for residential purposes on a 99 years Fixed Period State Grant, as wildlife management areas and ranches.
  • Tribal land (Governed by the Tribal Land Act, 1968) – This land is owned by the respective tribe that resides there, and the system is such that the administration of such land is through Land Boards through the tribe’s district council. It is administered through land boards because they have the capacity, skilled professionals and resources to administer it fairly to the public, including allocation, imposing land use restrictions and land dispute resolutions through land tribunals.
  • Freehold land (Governed by the Land Control Act, 1975)-This is mainly agricultural land that is in blocks e.g. Tuli Block. Most of the freehold land has been bought by the government to expand urban state land. The Town and Country Planning Act is used for the development and conversion of freehold land into urban settlement areas.